Executive Director, Office Scanning the Safety Horizon

Location US-IL-Northbrook
Job ID
# of Openings
Job Category


General – Green Earth – Safer World

At UL, we know why we come to work.

We have an exciting opportunity for an Executive Director, Office Scanning the Safety Horizon to join UL Research Institutes (UL).

The Executive Director will provide strategic vision and operational expertise to support and expand OSSH’s mission and programs, deploying internal resources targeted to grow from a current $2M to $5M annually in the next 5 years. This will include developing the human and technical infrastructure needed to conduct research that identifies and fully characterizes emerging safety risks; the development of unbiased science and engineering knowledge sets and databases that can be used to inform technology and policy development; building in-house research capabilities across a spectrum of relevant project areas; developing analytical approaches to identify and address emerging threats early in relevant technology life cycles.  

Reporting to the Senior Vice President and Chief Research Officer, the Executive Director will be expected to provide knowledgeable, experienced, and proven leadership to OSSH, championing the distinctive role the office will play both to the broad scientific, consumer, and policy-maker external communities, as well as internal to UL Research Institutes.

What you’ll learn & achieve:

As the Executive Director, you will play a key role in the rapid growth of UL as you:

  • Develop the human and technical infrastructure needed to conduct research that identifies and fully characterizes emerging safety risks.
  • Oversee the strategic expansion of human capital to support the office’s ability to conduct leading research and translate those results to public impact.
  • Develop unbiased science and engineering knowledge sets and databases that can be used to inform technology and policy development.
  • Build in-house research capabilities across a spectrum of relevant project areas.
  • Develop analytical approaches to identify and address emerging threats early in relevant technology life cycles.
  • Enhance the office’s recognition and reach as a thought-leading developer of safety-science intelligence through discovery research and peer-reviewed and popular publications.
  • Create and deliver external presentations and participate in strategic national and global initiatives.
  • Work with multiple constituencies to foster the translation of research into actionable tools, processes, and policy for the advancement of human safety, health, and equity.
  • Respond to emerging research opportunities and challenges, and an understanding of OSSH’s role in alignment with the mission of the greater organization.

UL has COVID-19 protocols and policies in place to ensure the safety of our employees, customers and clients. Effective November 1, 2021, the company mandates that employees are vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of employment (except where prohibited by law), subject to reasonable accommodation as required by law.

What makes you a great fit:

While no one candidate will embody every quality, the successful candidate will bring many of the following professional competencies and personal attributes

  • Exceptional strategic thinking ability and demonstrated success in innovation, organizational planning, and implementation.
  • Passion for and commitment to the design and application of research tools to improve human and societal wellbeing.
  • Organizational management skills including experience with financial, legal, business operations, and human resources management.
  • A network of strong relationships with national and international leaders in relevant research and policy communities.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills.
  • Strong ethical values with a commitment to transparency so that worldwide stakeholders have the confidence that our research is accurate and objective.
  • Demonstrated interest in the impact and effects of technology on human health and safety as well as a distinguished record of external engagement with, and recognition by, third-party stakeholders.
  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity and collaborative engagement. Commitment to accomplishment and success.

Experience and Education Requirements

  • University degree with 15 years of experience with a strong track record of leadership within the broadly interpreted area of future analysis as well as extensive experience in assembling and deploying the tools necessary to undertake such analysis.
  • Experience with new and innovative models of collaboration and outreach.
  • Experience managing an organization through transition and growth.

What you’ll experience working at UL:

  • Mission: For UL, corporate and social responsibility isn’t new. Making the world a safer, more secure and sustainable place has been our business model for the last 128 years and is deeply ingrained in everything we do.
  • People: Ask any ULemployee what they love most about working here, and you’ll almost always hear, “the people.” Going beyond what is possible is the standard at UL. We’re able to deliver the best because we employ the best.
  • Interesting work: Every day is different for us here as we eagerly anticipate the next innovation that our customers’ create. We’re inspired to take on the challenge that will transform how people live, work and play.
  • Grow & achieve: We learn, work and grow together with targeted development, reward and recognition programs as well as our very own UL University that offers extensive training programs for employees at all stages, including a technical training track for applicable roles.
  • Total Rewards: All employees at UL are eligible for bonus compensation. We offer a generous 401k matching structure of up to 5% of eligible pay. Additionally, we invest an additional 4% into your retirement saving fund after your first year of continuous employment. We provide Healthcare Reimbursement Accounts and Health Savings Accounts that UL contributes to twice per year! Depending on your role, you can work with your manager on flexible working arrangements. We also provide employees with paid time off including vacation, holiday, sick and volunteer time off.

Learn More:

UL Research Institutes is affiliated nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing safety science research through the discovery and application of scientific knowledge. We conduct rigorous independent research and analyze safety data, convene experts worldwide to address risks, share knowledge through safety education and public outreach initiatives, and develop standards to guide safe commercialization of evolving technologies. We foster communities of safety, from grassroots initiatives for neighborhoods to summits of world leaders. Our organization employs collaborative and scientific approaches with partners and stakeholders to drive innovation and progress toward improving safety, security, and sustainability, ultimately enhancing societal well-being.

Our wholly owned subsidiary, UL Inc., advances our shared public safety mission. We fund our work through grants, the licensing of standards documents and the business activities of UL Inc., which conducts testing, verification and certification, and provides training and advisory services, along with data-driven reporting and decision-making tools for customers around the world.

To learn more, visit our websites UL.org.


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UL is an Equal Opportunity Employer: Female/Minority/disability/Protected Veteran/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity

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UL EEO Policy

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